Welcome to Estonia!

“Make yourself at home, but don’t forget that you’re a guest.”


    Meeting or greeting

  • Give a firm handshake with a few good shakes and bow your head slightly. Think “dignity”.
  • Visiting a home

  • Do not pay some one a surprise visit. Always make arrangements first. (Door to door salesmen and evangelists are tolerated at best – see special issues section below.)
  • ALWAYS remove your shoes once you enter the house. You will see where everyone else leaves them.
  • It is customary to give flowers to the host. In fact, flowers are given as often as possible, it seems. They are very inexpensive and plentiful so this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • If you are being invited to eat at some one’s home it is a good idea to give fruit, a desert or candy.
  • Eating customs

  • It is said that “food is holy.” Taking food onto your plate constitutes a pledge that you will eat what you have taken. It is far better to refuse something that has been prepared than to leave it unfinished on your plate. LEAVING FOOD ON YOUR PLATE WILL OFFEND WHOEVER HAS PREPARED THE MEAL FOR YOU – DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY!
  • If you have tried something and do not want more, do not say that you don’t like it. This would be offensive. Simply don’t take more onto your plate.
  • These rules are possible to keep if you remember that you have control over what is put on your plate and how much.
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